Dating a frat boy

Little-known fact: Frat boys get softer and more lovable as they age.

The very traits that make them so odious when they’re young — their masters-of-the-universe overconfidence, their high-fiving, wedgy-giving bluster, their myopic unwillingness to consider other people’s feelings — are replaced by self-doubt and dread in the face of middle age.

As cocky dudes and swaggery ass-slappers reach their 40s and 50s, their exaltation in trivia like online poker and fantasy football leagues and who rolled whose ball hairs into a joint back in the day starts to look obstinately coltish instead of flatly uninteresting.

Their ogling of hot-bodied younger women feels more understandable as aesthetic appreciation rather than self-deluded horndoggery.

OK, we know the following characterization is NOT 100 percent representative of all fraternities in this country.

But still, the stats about sexual assault and tales of misogynistic behavior in the essay, “Bros Before Hos,” published by history and gender studies professor Nicholas L.

They blend in so well with the rest of society that it can be almost impossible at times to spot them.

He also wrote songs; gigged semiprofessionally at restaurants throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; played drums for a rock band; chased, and conquered, numerous girls; and by his high school graduation, in 2008, had reached the pinnacle of adolescent cool by dating "this really hot skanky cheerleader," as he puts it.

That fall, he enrolled at Dartmouth, where he had wanted to go for as long as he could remember.

Their unrelenting mutual derision — the “Eat me’s” and the “Screw you, butt nuggets” and other faintly homoerotic allusions — can be greeted as a particularly aggressive flavor of nostalgia, rather than a clear reflection of frustrated homosexual urges.

And while it’s still unnerving to observe the casual arrogance of a gaggle of young men in their prime — their baseball caps molded into the perfect C shape, their boxer shorts peeking out above their low-slung jeans, the almost prissily self-aggrandizing set of their broad, hairless shoulders — watching that same smug spirit butt stubbornly from within the cramped confines of adult life can be surprisingly poignant.